SILVER SPRING, Md. — The vibrant community of St. Camillus Church here found Sebastian Tobin, OFM, among the vendors at the parish carnival earlier this month. Many stopped by to browse and purchase the wide variety of leather goods he makes by hand.
The fourth annual St. Camillus Parish family carnival on Sept. 7 was held in the large parking lot between the church and school, on the grounds that also include Holy Name College (HNC). Despite being planned for three days, the carnival was held for only one day because of Hurricane Hannah.
“Though we were open only one-third of the normal operating hours due to the remnants of Hannah, we were fortunate that many parishioners and neighbors came out and spent money,” said Ed Cook, carnival chairperson. “We were able to break even.”
The event was held the weekend after students returned to the K-8 school. Friars from both St. Camillus and HNC attended the carnival.
Proceeds from the carnival will go toward parish operating expenses, according to carnival chairperson Ed Cook.
Vendors included cosmetics and clothing craftsmen, as well as a person selling clay models of South American homes. A second-hand treasure sale was also held.
This is the second year that Sebastian has participated in the carnival. He moved to HNC in the spring of 2007, after living for 37 years in Manhattan. For most of that time, he operated a shop called Sebastian’s Sandal Shop on the grounds of St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street.
“The carnival was great once the rain pulled out,” said Sebastian. “It brought families together.” Sebastian sold both stock and custom items, including bags, belts, wallets, key fobs, belt pouches, waist packs and rosary purses.
Orders can be placed through his Web site, where information about his work and background can be found.
Sebastian said he is still setting up his space and business at HNC. “ It is taking a little time for people to find me,” he said.
He is also getting adjusted to Internet sales. “Using the Internet is a different way to shop, compared with seeing and touching the leather in person,” he said, “but more and more people are shopping online these days.”
“Br. Sebastian was one of our most pleasant vendors,” Cook said. “Many people say he is a treat to talk to. My wife likes his products very much and did a lot of her Christmas shopping at his table.”
The pastor of St. Camillus is Michael Johnson, OFM.